Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A New Year's Reminder

Returning from Hong Kong, Jerome needed to use a restroom when we were halfway across town on the subway ride home from the airport. He and I left the rest of the family to finish the trip by themselves and we used a subway toilet, where I saw this sign.

I could read the first sentence ("Zhè shì wǒ yīzhí xiǎng duì nǐ shuō dehuà"), but then they stole my self-praise by translating it to English for me. The second sentence, though, I didn't know. It turns out it says, "Xiǎobiàn rù chí. Wénmíng nǐ zuìměi," which means, "Urinate into the pool. Your best civilization."

Or does it? 美 means "beautiful," but it's also a shorthand way of saying 美国, which means "United States." My phone app says 最 before a place means "nearest to." So it's possible that the last sentence is really saying, "Your civilization closest to America."

But the government's frenemy attitude towards the U.S. makes that translation unlikely. It would be more likely for them to say, "Don't pee on the floor like those American capitalist dogs."

By the way, the floor was covered in pee.

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